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Can You Re-Use Worm Leachate? Is It Worm Tea?

To someone who composts with worms, worm tea and worm leachate might sound like the same thing. However, they are completely different. Worm leachate is the runoff from a worm bin. Worm tea is brewed from worm castings. Is worm leachate useful for fertilizing your plants? Can worm tea fertilize plants? Can you re-use worm leachate?

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How Can I Re-use Coffee Grounds?

While dumping coffee grounds into the trash, you might wonder, “Can I re-use coffee grounds?” Fancy coffee blends and pods are expensive. Is there a way to brew an additional cup or pot from used coffee grounds? Where should you put used coffee grounds? If you can’t re-use them, can someone or something else use them? The Economics of Coffee Grounds Coffee brewed at home has become increasingly diverse. In the past, only a few factors distinguished one coffee from another. Roast and brand name were the main attributes setting ground coffee or coffee beans apart. However, in the past 25 years, Americans have become fussier about their coffee. Is it organic? Fairtrade? Where was it grown? What is the strength? The acidity? Flavored? The coffee aisle at the grocery store has a dizzying array of choices. Specialty coffees from the health food store, coffee and tea boutiques, online mail order, and coffee shop chains mean even more selection.

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Where Do Composting Worm Babies Come From?

Ever noticed a band around some of your composting worms? This band shows that the worm is mature enough to reproduce. How do composting worms make babies? How long does it to make worm babies? And how can you encourage the worms to breed? The red worm, Eisenia fetida, is a champion composting worm. Nestled in the confines of a composting bin, red worms happily eat your kitchen scraps. In return for these tasty morsels, they excrete valuable compost. The resulting “black gold” is the best compost for your garden and indoor plants. It Takes Two Red Worms to Tango On the one hand, red worms have both male and female characteristics. Botanists call them “hermaphrodites”. On the other hand, they need a partner to make babies. They cannot reproduce all on their own. Having DNA from two parents helps keep the offspring strong. When the conditions are right, two red worms line up against each other, facing opposite directions.  Their bands, called clitellum, secrete a mucus film that envelops both worms. Each worm receives sperm, which they store for later. After several hours, the worms go their separate ways. The clitellum then secretes albumin, a chemical that makes the clitellum start to harden. The worm starts to wriggle out of the clitellum. On the way, the worm deposits its own eggs and its partner’s sperm in the clitellum. The resulting lemon-shaped sac is called a cocoon. Sperm from one mating session can fertilize several cocoons. Waiting for the Eggs …

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Best Ways to Protect Composting Worms in the Winter

Are sub-freezing temperatures on their way? Composting with worms does not have to stop in the winter! If you live in a cold climate, your composting worms can continue working when winter approaches. You need to make some decisions. Here are your choices: Do nothing. Insulate. Move the worms to a sheltered location. Move the worms to a heated location (such as in the house, heated outbuilding or basement). Wild worms fend for themselves during freezing temperatures.

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Rabbit Hutch Worm Farms

A rabbit hutch is a mess unless you can automatically dispose of the waste. Rabbit poop, urine, spilled food and water, and bedding need to be cleaned out of the hutch regularly. Did you know that a rabbit hutch wormfarm cleans itself? Waste falls through the floor of the bunny hutch, straight into a composter populated by worms. The results are a clean hutch and valuable organic fertilizer. How do you make a Rabbit Hutch Worm Farm?

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Fertilizing Soil in the Fall: Applying Organic Compost and More

The fall is the time to get a jump on applying soil amendments, including organic compost and worm castings. Did you know? Getting full benefit from natural soil amendments can take weeks or even months. Compost you apply in the spring might not be fully activated until mid-summer. The soil in the spring stays muddy for quite a while. Dryer soil in the fall is easier to work. You will have tons of garden and yard work to do in the spring. Getting your soil partially ready in the fall frees you up for spring chores. What to Apply to the Soil

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Five Common Myths About Composting with Worms

Composting with worms is easier than you might think! Hesitating before starting a new composting project? Take a look at these five common vermicomposting myths. Myth: Composting is a Ton of Extra Work Facts: The worms do most of the work. They convert kitchen scraps into valuable fertilizer 24/7. Initial setup takes less than an hour; more if you build your own composter from a tote or wood pallets. Collecting kitchen scraps add very little time to kitchen cleanup. Feed the worms every few days in about two minutes. Several times a year, you can harvest the valuable worm castings. Typical harvesting times: Tray-based composters: Takes 1 minute to remove the bottom tray. The worms should be fed in the top tray, so the bottom tray should have few or no worms. Or Compost bin with a door in the bottom: 5 minutes. Open the door and scoop out what you need. Or Generic compost bin, tote, or pile: Choose from manual sorting, making piles, or sifting through a screen. 30 minutes or more depending on the amount of worm castings. Or Add 10 to 20 minutes to sift the fertilizer through a screen. Optional. Screening removes sticks, rocks, debris, indigestible items, fruit stickers. Screening also makes the compost fluffier, which helps regulate soil drainage.

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Composting with Worms: Don’t Make These Five Mistakes

Composting worms speeds up the composting process. New worm bin owners tend to make mistakes. Once you get the hang of vermicomposting, you will love it! Reducing trash, saving the earth, and creating free fertilizer makes worm composting worthwhile. Your household might even adopt the worms as members of the family! Watch out for these five common mistakes. Mistake #1: Overfeeding Enthusiastic worm bin owners toss every available scrap into the bin. The worms cannot keep up. The bin starts to smell terrible! In theory, worms can eat their weight in scraps per day. However, that number might be lower, depending on air temperature and other factors. A fool-proof method is to feed them every 2 to 3 days. Be conservative in the quantity. Soon, you will get a feeling for how much food they can handle.

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Keeping Worm Composting Bins Cool in the Summer

If you are feeling hot in the summer, so are your composting worms! Unless they are snuggled indoors in air conditioning, your wiggly composting helpers need help staying cool. A few precautions will keep your worms operational. What natural cooling techniques do worms have? Where should your worm bin go? When should you intervene? What’s the worst that can happen? Natural Worm Cooling Worm in the wild knows what to do when they feel too hot. They dig down deeper in the earth or bedding

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Making Compost: Differences Between Vermicomposting, Anaerobic and Aerobic Composting

Did you know that there are different types of composting? Aerobic composting and vermicomposting require ventilation. Anaerobic composting works without oxygen. How do you make compost? Which type is best for households, farms, businesses, institutions, and schools? How Composting Works Composting takes advantage of the natural process of decomposition. When leaves drop on the ground in the fall, Mother Nature breaks them down. Ants and other insects, bacteria, and fungi do their work. Soon, nothing remains except brown matter, which becomes part of the topsoil. This rich organic matter nourishes plants, helps regulate water saturation, and creates air pockets.

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